I wrote this as an assignment for my short stint at Capella (which is another blog post.) It’s located on It’s my only paper that I put up on the site. It’s about Badging in Instructional Design.

Breaking it down: Multimedia Learning!

film image music notes and projector screen

I receive many of questions about instructional design. When faculty come to my office they want to know two things: What instructional design is. Then, what I, as an Instructional Designer, can do for them. (sounds a little like andragogy) Some think that instructional designers just make videos and use technology. Hopefully,  this post will help define instructional design and look at one of many different concepts that an Instructional Designer will apply to their work.

Let’s start with a definition of Instructional Design. I am taking the definition from a Facebook discussion where three Instructional Designers re-constructed the definition (Post: Definition of Instructional Design). Instructional Design is a learner-centric systematic approach to instruction which creates effective, measurable, and replicable learning experiences.

But what does that all mean to faculty? Most likely not a thing, because it can bring up a lot of feelings of resentment and confusion with faculty who are hired to teach. The assumption is that if they went through their subject matter expert field of study, that they would just know how to create instruction. faculty don’t know and aren’t required to understand the educational science in what they do. For example, they don’t need to know that there is a whole field of study on Multimedia Learning.  Richard Mayer, ie, the Daddy of Multimedia Learning suggests that Learners can only process a small amount of content at a time and the visual and audio representation of knowledge must be organized in a meaningful way (Mayer 2010). Which means content needs to be chunked into small bits, so the Learner can optimize the process of learning.

Faculty are not required to understand educational science in what they do. For example, they don’t need to know that there is a whole field of study on Multimedia Learning.  Richard Mayer, ie, the Daddy of Multimedia Learning suggests that Learners can only process a small amount of content at a time and the visual and audio representation of knowledge must be organized in a meaningful way (Mayer 2010). Which means content needs to be chunked into small bits, so the Learner can optimize the process of learning.

For instance, an instructor wants to video all of his or her lectures and put them up on the LMS without edit and without chunking it. Each video is one hour or 3 hours long depending on the lecture length. The Instructor has used the latest technology, like the Swivl, record the lecture. Just by  the technology of recording the Instructor believes that it will be somehow new.  Another type of technology is VoiceThread in which the instructor can upload a PowerPoint presentation and record audio over the slide. This is new technology for the instructor, but the instructor still reads the PowerPoint presentation word for word.

With the help of an instructional designer an instructor can recreate the one hour lecture, by creating chunks of learning that will better represent the ideas, concepts, and knowledge that the instructor wants to convey.  Can the lecture be chunked into 10 to 15-minute videos, which clearly suggest topic, scope, and practice? Is the instructor reading the PowerPoint word for word? Mayer’s Multimedia Learning suggest that reading word by word actually decreases a Learner’s ability to process and retain information, it takes away from the learners ability to process in both the audio and visual “channels” and requires the learner to have unlimited amounts of memory space (p33).  A better way, according to Mayer, is to appeal to both auditory/visual channels of the brain in order to process knowledge (p33). For instance, using an image and a verbal explanation of what that image is.

Instructional Designers do not have to teach the instructor Mayer’s Theory, but we can come up with ideas that embody Mayer’s principles. We can help the instructor to come up with different ways of presenting the material. Is there a video from a reputable site (that has been vetted) which will allow you to use that video in a course? Is there a way to visually represent the concept instead of describing it?

Other questions?

Are the PowerPoint presentations really handouts?

Are there graphics that can be used?

Are there notable experts in their field who have given a Ted Talk or other Talk? (Link: The 7 steps to delivering a mind-bowing Ted Talk  — About Ted Talk )

Will these ideas stop a faculty member from using 1 to 3-hour lectures for their online course? Most likely not, however, when students lose interest and drop their courses, they might have a change of heart.


Mayer, R. E. (2014). The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (Second Edition. ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hobby: Buffy

On of my all time favorite shows was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy is still fresh today as it was when it came out in the 90s. I really love to help spread the word when I see cool inventive things, this was created by a fan. What great work!

New: Higher Education Instructional Design Link

This is another blog on Instructional Design in Higher Education.

Jason Rhode, Ph.D.

The blog contains a lot of great information about Design, Objectives, Blackboard, Instructional Design, and much much more.



Guest Blogger: Sandra Campos

(Please note: No zombies were harmed intentionally for this blog!)

My Experiences Transitioning to Online Teaching

Sandra Campos, Professor Emerita – Bristol Community College

My experience in transitioning from teaching a traditional college course to a hybrid online course was quite challenging.  As a full-time faculty member at Bristol for over twenty-eight years, I developed and taught a number of traditional courses in the Clinical Laboratory Science program.  Teaching involved the   typical lecture format with classes scheduled two to three days a week on campus.  When WebCT was introduced at the college, I was one of the first group of faculty to include it as a course supplement.

I was retired for several years when I had the opportunity to attend several events at the college. I had the opportunity to interact with many of my colleagues and it made me realize how much I missed teaching.  So, when I was asked in November if I was interested in developing and teaching a hybrid online course, I eagerly accepted.  I had about two months to develop the course as well as course materials for the spring of 2015.  Introduction to Healthcare was a required three-credit course which needed to provide a foundation for subsequent clinical courses and eventual employment in a health care setting.

So, I began my journey with much enthusiasm.  I was given with the name of the course, the course description, the name of the textbook and the name of my instructional designer.  Initially, most of my frustration involved getting reintroduced into the college system.  I was amazed at how much had changed in seven years.   There was Access BCC, Office 365, One Drive, a new email system as well as many new policies, services and employees.  I am thankful for the patience of the BCC staff who walked me through the processes.

My next step was to develop the syllabus using the course description, course objectives, the text and corresponding workbook.  I had experience developing a number of new courses in the CLS program so within a few days I had the traditional syllabus tentatively completed.  There were specific requests for course topics by the Director of the EKG Program which were included in what I thought was the final version of the syllabus.

My first meeting with Ceit DeVitto, the instructor designer assigned to help me in the development of the hybrid course was in mid-November.  I was feeling pretty good as I presented her with my syllabus.  I thought I had completed the most challenging part of the course.  It was then I was introduced to blackboard eLearning.  Ceit talked about the program features and how the course should include face to face class meetings and online interactive discussions and written assignments.  My first task was to write a welcome post which needed to include my personal information.  The syllabus had to be modified to include the on-line netiquette and grading policies, weekly overviews and assignments including due dates.  When I left the meeting I was over whelmed and thought to myself, “What the heck did I agree too?”

Ceit and I met seven times prior to the beginning of the course in January.  I was very thankful she had so much patience.  During our second meeting, we were discussing the first week’s assignment and ways to make the student feel more comfortable interacting in the hybrid format.

I continued to develop the on-line course, meeting with Ceit throughout the semester.  Immediate problems were handled through telephone calls to Ceit and the Cite Lab staff.   I did enjoy the few times when I asked Ceit a question and she did not immediately know the answer.  Completing the weekly overviews and adding them to the syllabus and into the on-line course was a satisfying accomplishment.

Working in the on-line course has become so much easier.  At first, I was hesitant to use the faculty tools within the course and I would constantly ask for help.  Now I will try things and only when I have a problem, do I ask for help.  The blackboard YouTube videos are extremely helpful.  I have taught the hybrid course twice and will teach it again in the fall semester.  This semester I taught a three-credit course, Personal and Community Health which is completely on-line.   I do prefer the hybrid format with the every other week class meetings because I like meeting the students.  I am very happy that I accepted this challenge and really enjoy teaching the on-line courses.


Blackboard Exemplary Catalyst Award winner 2013 and 2014

Text Blackboard award winner

Blackboard Catalyst Award

You can find the complete list of award winners here!

Tahais Real-Martins, Ceit Devitto, Diana Rice, and Constance Messier Bristol Community College Developmental Pediatric Occupational Therapy Practice

The video for the Developmental Pediatrice Occupational Therapy Practice can be found here! 




Ceit De Vitto, Sharon F. Tilton, and Kimberly Griffith Bristol Community College Musculoskeletal Anatomy for the Massage Professional



I love my job!

I love being an Instructional Designer. I am good at what I do, it’s a passion, and it’s a calling.

Presentation Facebook post


I love watching faculty develop their skills and really come up with engaging courses that work much better for students. I even love when experienced online faculty come to me, looking to bounce ideas and look for new solutions that they might not see. Today was one of those days that really made me feel good.

To the right is a Presentation by Colleen Sullivan Avedikian on scaffolding writing assignments.

I am so really proud to be a part of this team.





Sandy Campos, who is a Professor Emerita at Bristol Community College is another professor that goes above and beyond to create engaging online and hybrid courses. I

Sandy Campos Thank You Note

So you are taking a class and the difference between Pedagogy and Andragogy come up..

I wrote this in 2009 on my personal Facebook Page — But it still holds true. Not as well cited as I would have liked — But here it is!

Andragogy consists of learning strategies focused on adults. It is often interpreted as the process of engaging adult learners with the structure of learning experience. Originally used by Alexander Kapp (a German educator) in 1833, andragogy was developed into a theory of adult education by the American educator Malcolm Knowles.

Knowles asserted that andragogy (Greek: “man-leading”) should be distinguished from the more commonly used pedagogy (Greek: “child-leading”).

Knowles’ theory can be stated with six assumptions of adult learning:[1][2]

1. Adults need to know the reason for learning something (Need to Know)
2. Experience (including error provides the basis for learning activities (Foundation).
3. Adults need to be responsible for their decisions on education; involvement in the planning and evaluation of their instruction (Self-concept).
4. Adults are most interested in learning subjects having immediate relevance to their work and/or personal lives (Readiness).
5. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented (Orientation).
6. Adults respond better to internal versus external motivators (Motivation).

The term has been used by some to allow discussion of contrast between self-directed and ‘taught’ education.[3]



There is little doubt that the most dominant form of instruction in Europe and America is pedagogy, or what some people refer to as didactic, traditional, or teacher-directed approaches. A competing idea in terms of instructing adult learners, and one that gathered momentum within the past three decades, has been dubbed andragogy. The purpose of this resource piece is to provide the interested reader with some background information regarding both instructional forms.

The pedagogical model of instruction was originally developed in the monastic schools of Europe in the Middle Ages. Young boys were received into the monasteries and taught by monks according to a system of instruction that required these children to be obedient, faithful, and efficient servants of the church (Knowles, 1984). From this origin developed the tradition of pedagogy, which later spread to the secular schools of Europe and America and became and remains the dominant form of instruction.

Pedagogy is derived from the Greek word “paid,” meaning child plus “agogos,” meaning leading. Thus, pedagogy has been defined as the art and science of teaching children. In the pedagogical model, the teacher has full responsibility for making decisions about what will be learned, how it will be learned, when it will be learned, and if the material has been learned. Pedagogy, or teacher-directed instruction as it is commonly known, places the student in a submissive role requiring obedience to the teacher’s instructions. It is based on the assumption that learners need to know only what the teacher teaches them. The result is a teaching and learning situation that actively promotes dependency on the instructor (Knowles, 1984).

Up until very recently, the pedagogical model has been applied equally to the teaching of children and adults, and in a sense, is a contradiction in terms. The reason is that as adults mature, they become increasingly independent and responsible for their own actions. They are often motivated to learn by a sincere desire to solve immediate problems in their lives. Additionally, they have an increasing need to be self-directing. In many ways the pedagogical model does not account for such developmental changes on the part of adults, and thus produces tension, resentment, and resistance in individuals (Knowles, 1984).

Article: Asset-Based Coaching

This is a good article that talks about instructional coaching. Part of wearing the Instructional Design hat, you have to really become the faculty’s coach.

“When I became an instructional coach, I focused almost exclusively on closing the big gaps in a teacher’s practices. I thought we needed to start with the areas of greatest need. In addition, deficits command a lot of attention–when I walked into a classroom, it felt like the teacher’s deficits were jumping out at me in neon. For many reasons, this approach didn’t work.”

Asset-Based Coaching: Focusing on Strengths


Education Week Teacher

Objectives are like directions

Objectives are directions in learning, they really do help learners get to their destination. If you don’t use them you will be lost on a back road knocking on the door of a serial killer.

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